Emma Chapter 51
Emma saw in the letter Mr. Churchill's suffering and remorse, and she softened her judgment of him. Mr. Knightley read the letter with a more critical eye, commenting to Emma upon points he found objectionable or hypocritical. A man of sense and the utmost honor and honesty, he cannot help but object to many of Mr. Churchill's statements. But he saw sincerity in the letter, and true feelings for Miss Fairfax, and he could not be cross for long. His next topic was Emma's father. He knew she could not leave him, so he had decided that he would move to Highbury, after the marriage. Mr. Woodhouse was too delicate and stubborn to be moved from Hartfield, but having Mr. Knightley move in he might agree to. Emma knew what a sacrifice this was, and she loved him even more. She did not think of the objection she had once given for Mr. Knightley's marrying, the disinheritance of little Henry Knightley, her sister's son. Ironically, the thought did not enter her head.
Emma liked his plan. Her only sadness came from Harriet. She would lose both lover and friend. Mr. Knightley, unlike Mr. Elton, was such a good man that to stop loving him would be hard. The prospect of a third love seemed unlikely, and Emma grieved for her friend.